People who harm themselves should always be taken seriously.
This is not only because commission of an act of self-harm may be a
prognostic factor indicating an greatly increased risk of further
self-injurious behaviour and suicide, but also because it may be a
key indicator of the existence of a range of serious psychiatric
disorders, social and relationship problems and abusing
This report from the Council of the Royal College of
Psychiatrists surveys what is known about self-harm in young people
and points readers to sources of epidemiological information and
advice about designing, setting-up, managing and delivering health
services for young people after they have harmed themselves.
The guidance provided by this report is aimed at health
authorities and health boards, NHS trusts, primary care
groups/trusts, local health groups and local authorities. It will
be particularly helpful to members of the Royal College of
Psychiatrists and practitioners in other disciplines in advising
their colleagues at all levels of service management and is
supportive of local initiatives in delivering assessment and
treatment services of increasing quality.